Beer fest ban a stark contrast to free beers during 2013 election campaign in Penang


I was puzzled to read about the ban on the Better Beer Festival in KL next month, which has now become world news just a week after the prime minister urged Trump to support moderate and progressive governments around the world.

Why puzzled? Because in 2013, many Penangites can clearly remember how free beer and free food were made available at numerous 1Malaysia dinners in the state in the run-up to the general election that year.

Open air dinners were held almost every other night in different parts of town back then, with clowns, angpows, free food and free beer. It was party-time almost every night!

Free food and free beers!

Yes, many people, non-Muslims I imagine, made a beeline for those free beers, some of them exotic brands like 3 Amigos. But as I recall there was no outbreak of vice and drunkenness on the streets despite the plentiful supply of free beer.

Ang pows and beer

The only ‘shocking’ thing that happened was many snapped up those free beers and free food and then soberly voted against the BN in record numbers!

So what has changed between then and now to further erode the rights and choices of ordinary Malaysians, particularly the non-Muslims?

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  1. Muslims should be worried about youth abusing drugs and committing murder instead of fretting over non-Muslims imbibing, said former prime minister Dr Mahathir today.

    On his blog today, Dr Mahathir said it was not his problem if non-Muslims chose to drink until they passed out, as long as they stayed off the roads and did not trouble others.

    “I was told that many are angry at me for not supporting the protest against the beer festival, or Oktoberfest.

    “To me, if non-Muslims choose to drink alcohol or beer until they faint, that’s their problem. The important thing is they do not cause problems for other people or drive a car while drunk.

    • The 45th Penang Oktoberfest organised by the Malaysian German Society went on without a hitch, with CM Lim Guan Eng declaring “Penang is no Taliban state”.

      Lim said some extremists may have succeeded in banning Oktoberfest in Selangor or Kuala Lumpur but they would never succeed in Penang.

      “Penang is not keen in banning ‘this or that’ which interferes in Malaysians’ traditional freedom.

      Good statement by CM to attract German investment or boost presence of Osram in Penang. Cheers!

  2. Police is inconsistent in this issue whether the beer festival can take place or not. Heard ok in Johor probably must respect rights of bangsa Johor.

  3. The term OctoberFest has been banned in Malaysia while the people rejoice with the introduction of Nasi Lemak flavoured condoms!

    • OctoberFest renamed as ‘German F&B Festival’, just like Pretzel Dog renamed as Pretzel Sausage.

      Shopping Malls may have to start thinking how to replace ‘Merry Christmas’ theme, possibly to ‘Year-end Celebration’, minus Santa Claus, Rudolf Reindeer, Gingerbread Man…

  4. There might be 1 way or another to un-bans the ban.
    Say the Chinese breweries from China in collaboration with the PRC embassy & MITI is going to hold a Great Wall of China Beer Event in Kuala Lumpur.
    Such occasion certainly involves BN&MCA’s top leaders as VIP guest.
    There would be no licensing problem and security all clear.
    * Can be USA beers as well ,since Trump is Najib’s best friend.
    ** Najib stands to benefit by actively partaking MAGA (Make America Great Again)
    BTW Harapan is hopeless, look at how Azmin is tiptoeing the issue.

  5. Free-flowing beer was (approved by Bee End leaders) only for some win-hearts+minds+cheers GE occasions & maybe again this coming GE14?

    May be Bee End could get China to sponsor Tsingtao Beer to win Chinese hearts + minds.
    As for the Indians, Anil what is the recommended best beer?

    Lets drink & get drunk but keep sober for the Votes For Change!

  6. For some, our freedom not worth defending

    What I find strange though, is that during the period of the investigation – I assume this includes surveillance, etc – the state did not warn non-Muslims that their places of worship were possible targets and that holding religious events which obviously went against the “struggle” of these lunatics was ill-advised. As far as I recall there was no panic, only covert and professional police work.

    Now if the state security apparatus could handle possible threats against non-Muslim places of worship, and doing so without compromising the investigations and public order, why is it that a simple beer festival in a controlled environment poses such a security risk…

    • Guineas Stout used to be associated with labourers that need strength.
      But it has be rebranded for yuppies.

  7. Next to ban: Kuda Kepang???
    B’cos it could invoke ‘didampingi makluk’ spiritual possession & harmful eating of grass + glass???

    Kuda Kepang: Keeping the incense burning

    Kuda Kepang, Eating glass

    Kuda Kepang: Possessed by Spirit (Intrance)

    Gadis dalang Kuda Kepang didampingi makhluk

  8. Unesco wants Kelantan to lift ban on Mak Yong

    Sensitivities at play of banning?
    Wahai Wahabism! Where art thou (in non-existence) when centuries ago Mak Yong was a local staple of nightly cultural entertainment under the starry-starry skies of Kelantan villages??? Even the Pantera Tigris (tigers) danced to the sound & musical magic of Gamelan. If I should also include Saka Harimau which may invoke sensitivities of Saudi Wahabism.

    • Sad to see the Malays giving up their culture to embrace Arabisation. Baju Kebaya can only be seen on old P Ramler movies.

      • Missed Saloma curves & tiny waist!
        Only consolation is Maya Karin’s classic face & her almost Saloma’s classic dance in her Pontianak movies.

  9. By creating a problem, the opportunity for a solution comes along in order to control whatever the outcome.
    This is an all too common tactic of politics & security agencies around the world.
    But people are not that blurry drunk not to see read between the words of opportunists.
    Herein lies the problem with those whom we have entrusted to do the job i.e. securing peace in whatever situations, occasions or circumstances. Whether it’s religious/festival parades, social parties or peaceful street demonstrations, the onus of security lies with the security agencies – not to bow to the demands of those out to create troubles or terror. Otherwise, the space for freedom (of expression) to live one’s lifestyle is threatened by those dogmatists who don’t see eye to eye with anything of this worldly existence.

    When I drink Guiness Stout, I can keep my cool under the present searing heat of political climate in Nusantara Malaya. Drinking Tiger Beer? I fantasise having a good time with Singapore Sarong Party Girl!
    I think I better switch to Tiger Beer!

    • Remember the good old days of B&W TV where we watch the “Guiness Stout is good for you” tv advertisement? Or “Come Up to Carlsberg” in the cinema?

      tunglang can drink Bintang Beer to get Bali High, or Chang Beer for tantalising Thai fantasy!

      • Each brand of beer to his / her brand of fantasies!
        Tsingtao Beer for fly-walking on top of bamboo trees chasing after Zhang Ziyi!!!
        Chow Yun-Fatt, how’s that for fleeting happiness?

  10. “As a responsible party and government, we cannot gamble with public security or put the public at risk. We cannot take for granted that IS militants are now targeting Malaysia and in particular non-Muslims for attacks to drive across their points and views. Common sense dictates that most of the people converging at the Better Beer Festival would be non-Muslims and they would be sitting ducks for any security threats,” said MCA’s Ti Lian Ker in an amended statement a few hours after issuing the original without disclosing the source of his assertion on the IS threat to the festival.

    • In future drink beer at home comfort no disclosure of private gathering less IS threat.

      Expect more private closed door not public functions for exclusive beer drinking events exclusive to premium members only in future out of safety fear?

    • It certainly does not make any cow sense.
      As terrorist have been known to and would be happy to explode mosques.
      They have been known to do that and including on a Friday .And month of their very own holy ramadan as well.
      Therefore , beer is not a reason nor an element of it.
      And if it is really for security purpose, the police would be happy to ban the recent national parade as well as banning all the ministers from appearing in public places.
      Now, that is security. Right?
      And why would Najib flew all the way to USA and kiss President Trump on his …..This “blatant” act does not “attracts” terrorist?
      Best guessing work is that it is done just to “please or suck up” to a certain political party.
      Thank you.

  11. Nobody really talking about this issue well. This is not a debate about alcohol per se. It is also a debate about what is public space, what are the rights of public AND private space in Malaysia.
    The space to be used was in Publika – a commercial shopping mall owned by private owners but where the public gathers. Its an erosion of not just private rights BUT also sanctity of private property and public debate and discussion.
    BUT that is just it, the Islamic statism agenda is a one way street of erosion of not just private rights but also upholding of private property and discussion. The oversimplification of the ideas and agenda of the Islamic statism is in fact, anachronism, outdated, step backwards and damages progress and progressiveness.
    That is the real problem – we cannot talk about the problems of Islamic statism. Its not about the alcohol.

  12. German FTZ expatriates e.g. from BBraun or Bosch can now save up RM on Octoberfest and do charity contribution to Penang flood victims in line with Margie’s Prayer?

  13. In 2013 BN thought give alot of free beer so voters get ‘mabuk’ n vote for them. Actually the voters got drunk n they ‘X’ DAP,PKR thinking thats what BN want them to do! ‘X’ means reject to the mabuk voters!

  14. Msatu preGE14 festival this time no more free beer but free bubble tea instead. No more barbeque meat to be sensitive to other community, and no more KPop Psy at Han Chiang due to fund frozen so WeeKaSiong to do the Gangnam dance for Penangites!

  15. It is important that we should recognize this opposition against the beer fest isn’t merely about religious sensitivities but a series of move aimed againat our civil liberties and rights (allegedly) by the Salafists and Wahabbisists.

    Religion is a tool by them to gain control and power over us. They will not stop at just the beer fest. Things like beer, dogs, modern entertainment are symbols of our Independence from the Salafists control. They would seek to have all of these ban as well. It is important for all of to realize that all these are the beginning of the Salafication of Malaysia. Once Malaysia have been fully Salafinized, they would have complete control over us. When that happens, it will be the death of the Malaysia that we know and Muslims (could) suffer more than you non-Muslims.

    Things like RU355, Zakir Naik, hot dog, porcine hair brush, beer ban are all part of their game. Recognize this and (oppose) them at every single turn.

  16. “The political sensitivities of the Muslim majority becomes the basis for the erosion of rights of the minorities”.


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